TRANSGRESSION : Irreverent, Unsettling Contemporary Art

By Hudson Guild

Hudson Guild Gallery

TRANS·GRES·SION  (trans-gresh-uhn)  Definition: An act
that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense.  Synonyms: offense,
crime, sin, wrongdoing, misdemeanor, impropriety, infraction, misdeed, error,
lapse, peccadillo, fault, infringement, breach, violation, defiance,
disobedience, nonobservance  

Madonna Mia! by Rick KriegerHudson Guild


The first inspiration for this exhibit was a transgressive approach to a religious painting by Raphael.  Other works took similar liberties with sacred imagery.  

Adam and Eve by Aracelis RiveraHudson Guild

Madonna Mia! by Rick KriegerHudson Guild

Confessional by Elisabeth JacobsenHudson Guild

The box mimics a private repository where the sacrament of reconciliation is echoed. Uniting her childhood catechism with her adult life as a married lesbian, the text inside the confessional proudly states “I HAVE NOT SINNED.”

Laptop Guitar by Ken ButlerHudson Guild

The use of a laptop computer to create a working guitar further explores whimsical juxtapositions of seemingly incompatible imagery.

Cupid by Susan SpangenbergHudson Guild


Other works in this exhibit depict distortions of the human body and its various parts.  Notions of beauty and perfection are challenged and subverted. 

The Nose by Elise TakHudson Guild

Drop Down Head by Carol RadsprecherHudson Guild

Alien Species by Denise Jones AdlerHudson Guild

This photomontage is based on a lesser known version of the creation myth, in which God creates both Adam and a female called Lilith, who rejects Adam and leaves Eden, refusing to come back. Adam asks God for another companion so God fashions a female from the earth but Adam is repulsed by this creation. So God puts Adam to sleep and removes his rib (or tail in some versions) and makes Eve. When Adam wakes, he’s impressed. And the rest is history.

Think less do more by Kamonchanok Phon-NgamHudson Guild

Don't Block My Vision by Carol A. MassaHudson Guild

The artist's inspiration for this piece came from watching an interview with women who are filmmakers. There are so many fewer women than men who work in the film industry, and there is a great need for more of their voices and visions.

Franky Says Hello by Rick ProlHudson Guild

The Frankenstein monster first imagined by Mary Shelley in the early 19th century was a prime exemplar of a transgressive creation – an attempt by a human to create in a way which had previously been considered solely the domain of God. The results were decidedly imperfect.

Cupid by Susan SpangenbergHudson Guild

Public Execution by Martin GoldblumHudson Guild


This exhibit's theme extends to pieces which comment on political or sociological ideas – a tradition which includes work by artists like Goya, Gericault, Delacroix and Picasso.

This is America by Dara HaskinsHudson Guild

Inspired by Francisco Goya’s political works, "This is America" reflects the violent political climate of today through a complex composition of figures. Art can lift up a movement and its people, breaking barriers of hate and inspiring others to continue seeking justice and speak the truth. When other languages fail, art prevails with a spirit that can be heard by all.

Woman Smoking in Public by Vija DoksHudson Guild

In January 1908, New York City passed a new law which banned women from smoking in public. After just two weeks on the books, it was vetoed by New York’s mayor. In 2010, the Hamas-led government of Gaza imposed a ban on women smoking in public. The ban was soon lifted and women returned to smoking in popular venues like Gaza's Crazy Water Park. However, the park was burned down by masked men in September of that year, after being closed by Hamas.

Hearsay by Lisa BernadHudson Guild

The Artist explores the emotions of navigating through broken and illogical systems which allow the most obvious transgressions to be marginalized. In the aftermath of an event where it's clear that something traumatic has occurred (a transgression in some form and in this case "battle wounds"), it can be challenging to prove what actually happened (rules of Hearsay) or be believed, despite clear evidence. This is symbolic of the extreme difficulty navigating through Family Court, a system that was set up to protect but which consistently allows one transgression after another to continue.

The Invitation by Stephen LackHudson Guild

There is a line up to the MEN's Room, and you will have to wait! The trans/gressive moment within the painting reveals one of the newest and very central aspects of our time. It is not a conflict. Today the choice is up to the individual, and the illusion of the individual is what makes America.

American Joy Ride by Brooke McGowenHudson Guild

American Joy Ride portrays the reckless overindulgance of American hegemony at the cost of peace and our survival.

Cover the Earth by Chris ZellerHudson Guild

This image for a t-shirt was created in 1990, in response to the Exxon Valdez disaster of the previous year. It is a conflation of two logos, one a paint company's classic image, still in use, and the other, a more anonymous typeface-based design. At the time, it appeared possible that the oil giant, left to its own devices, might literally cover the earth.

The Assassination at the Gallery by Hilary NorthHudson Guild

This work depicts an event which occurred on December 19, 2016 in Ankara,Turkey, when the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated while attending a photography exhibit. The shooter was upset about Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. After murdering the ambassador, he smashed some artwork and then was killed minutes later. Murder is the most obvious transgression in this story, but the one that really resonates is the setting of this evil act – an art gallery, which should be a sacred space.

Public Execution by Martin GoldblumHudson Guild

Credits: Story

This exhibit was originally presented at Hudson Guild Gallery from March 7, 2019 through April 17,2019. The curators were Jim Furlong and Rick Krieger.

This on-line exhibit was created by Jim Furlong.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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